Suriname Climate Promise: Local effort and international support

Lady harvesting crops in farming project, photo credit : UNDP Suriname

Suriname made a promise to itself and the rest of the world to cooperate in mitigating the effects of climate change. Much effort will be put into action that helps to protect the environment and find alternative, environmentally friendly ways to bring development for the population. This great promise was made two years ago, in 2019, in the United Nations (UN).

The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as the climate pledges are called, are laid down in the Paris Agreement (December 12, 2015), named after the capital of France where 196 countries have pledged to stop global warming with all its negative consequences, for humans, animals and the environment. They have agreed to jointly limit the rise in temperature caused by large-scale environmental pollution to 1.5 – 2ºC. After the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, Suriname is the second country in the world to formally submit a plan to the UNFCCC (UN Secretariat for Climate Change Treaty), stating what it aims at and can do to combat climate change.

Local effort

“The Republic of Suriname has shown full commitment to implement the necessary climate actions by depositing its ratification instrument to the Paris Agreement”, says the Minister of Spatial Planning and Environment, Silvano Tjong-Ahin.  “We have also continued the mission to achieve our climate ambitions by submitting its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC Secretariat. The efforts did not stop there. The Government decided to partner up with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to participate in the Climate Promise initiative in order to demonstrate that Suriname is ready and committed to take necessary actions to limit the average global temperature rise to a safer 1.5 °C.”

The Climate Promise of Suriname is aimed at capacity building, to increase ownership as well as to raise awareness for the NDC, in line with other national policies and plans such as the National Development Plan. Tjong-Ahin: “We will have to find creative ways to rise from the ashes and build our economy much better and in harmony with nature. The Government of Suriname acknowledges the fact that for full and effective implementation of the NDC, the involvement of all relevant stakeholders especially the non-state actors, indigenous and tribal communities, the youth and private sector, is needed.”

International support

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is fully committed to supporting Suriname in realization of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) promise as submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Jairo Valverde Bermudez, UNDP Resident Representative highlights that the Suriname Climate Promise is part of the unwavering support to the realization of the Climate Change targets for Suriname, which together with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are essential elements of the development agenda for UNDP in Suriname.  Mr. Valverde Bermudez notes that “As a member of the international development community it is clear that there is an appreciation that although the ambition to deliver on the NDC may be present and permeable in national policies, strategies and actions, support is needed to realize the stated objectives and targets”.

As of today, the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment, with support of the UNDP, is launching the Suriname Climate Promise e-Magazine. An online magazine with articles, statements and videos about the Suriname Climate Promise. The magazine can be read or downloaded on: